Inspiration, Innovation and Insulation with Michael Markesbery of OROS Labs | re:COGs Podcast Episode 49

Revolutionizing Outdoor Apparel with Insulation Innovation:

Michael Markesbery's Journey from Backpacking to Breakthrough

The Science of Sleek:  The Story of SolorCore from OROS Labs

In the latest episode of the re:COGs podcast, host Mike Gelb sits down with Michael Markesbery, the visionary co-founder and CEO of OROS Labs and the innovative SolarCore technology. This captivating conversation delves into Michael’s personal odyssey, from a transformative backpacking trip in the Swiss Alps to the creation of a groundbreaking insulation solution that is revolutionizing the thermal apparel sector.

From Backpacking to Breakthrough

Michael’s journey began with a simple backpacking excursion that exposed a frustrating problem – the bulky, inefficient insulation in outdoor apparel. This experience sparked his determination to find a better solution, leading him on a path of discovery that would ultimately reshape the world of thermal insulation. 

Unlocking the Power of Aerogel

Through his research, Michael stumbled upon the remarkable properties of aerogel, a material used by NASA to insulate spacecraft. Recognizing the potential of this technology, he and his co-founder, Rithvik Venna, set out to unlock its true potential for applications beyond the aerospace industry. 

Overcoming Aerogel’s Brittleness

The challenge, however, lay in aerogel’s inherent brittleness, which had previously limited its use in consumer products. Undeterred, Michael and his team embarked on a year-long journey to develop a flexible and durable aerogel composite, ultimately creating the world’s first – SolarCore. 

Revolutionizing Thermal Insulation

SolarCore’s unique properties have the power to transform the way we think about thermal insulation. By combining aerogel’s exceptional insulating capabilities with foam’s versatility, SolarCore offers unparalleled warmth without the bulk, redefining the concept of “less is more” in consumer products. 

Collaborating with Industry Leaders

OROS Labs has forged strategic partnerships with industry giants, including the U.S. Department of Defense and renowned consumer brands like Merrell and L.L. Bean. These collaborations have allowed SolarCore to showcase its advantages across government, commercial, and consumer sectors, paving the way for widespread adoption. 

Expanding Horizons

Beyond the outdoor apparel industry, SolarCore’s applications span a diverse range of sectors, from building insulation and energy storage to cold chain packaging and tactical military shelters. This versatility has positioned OROS Labs as a leader in the quest to revolutionize thermal solutions across multiple industries. 

Overcoming Challenges

As an entrepreneur, Michael has faced his fair share of obstacles, from securing funding to navigating the complexities of manufacturing and scaling a technology-driven business. However, his unwavering determination and the support of a talented team have enabled OROS Labs to overcome these challenges and emerge as a force to be reckoned with. 

This episode of the re:COGs podcast is a testament to the power of innovation, perseverance, and the relentless pursuit of solving complex problems. Michael Markesbery’s story is an inspiring example of how a single backpacking trip can ignite a revolution in the world of thermal insulation.

Listen In as Mike Gelb and Michael Markesbery Discuss:

  • Michael’s transformative backpacking experience that sparked his mission to solve the insulation problem.
  • The discovery of aerogel and the challenge of making it flexible and durable.
  • The creation of SolarCore, the world’s first flexible and durable aerogel composite.
  • SolarCore’s unique properties that redefine thermal insulation in consumer products.
  • Strategic partnerships with industry leaders, including the U.S. Department of Defense and major consumer brands.
  • The diverse applications of SolarCore across government, commercial, and consumer sectors.
  • The entrepreneurial journey, including securing funding and navigating manufacturing challenges,

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